According to a recent report published by Gartner, spending on software and IT services is set to reach up to $3.5 Trillion in 2017. The digital era has transformed IT into a main driver of business growth, responsible for vetting and implementing new solutions that help an organization run better. But the question is, with vast amount of technologies readily available, how should IT professionals approach the task of choosing the software that’s best suited to their business?
Here are four simple tips to guide you on your own software selection journey:
1. Want or need?
It’s a new year, you’ve been assigned new budget and perhaps you’ve been given the mammoth task of implementing a seamless digital transformation project. With a new budget for 2017 there’s a strong chance of the classic case of ‘want or need’ popping up, especially with the sheer amount of technology available out there.
When it comes to choosing what’s best for your business, first think about your goals, these could be anything from increasing productivity or reducing paper within your organization. Once you have identified your objectives, you can then make a clear decision on what type of software it is that you actually need.
2. You can never do enough research!
So, what’s next? Research, research, research! This is a key initial aspect when searching for new software. Any well-established software vendor will offer plenty of information online, including reviews, customer case studies, and competitor comparisons.
It is so important when carrying out research to make sure you tick all your boxes and list out everything you’re looking for in the product; functionality, cost, usability, features, licensing etc. Do shop around, do test different vendors, but don’t compromise quality for cost. This is a mistake which is constantly being made.
On top of the above, make sure you find a vendor who will become a partner to your business. Good software companies are there to help you grow your business and achieve your goals, and that includes supporting you where necessary, post-purchase. Really get to know your vendors and create genuine business relationships with them when testing the software. By doing this you will make sure you feel comfortable that they have your best interests at heart and are not just in it for the initial sell.
3. Align with your decision makers and get executive buy-in.
Let’s be honest, this is definitely one of the more difficult aspects when it comes to introducing new software into the business. IT professionals hold the key to most of the resources that the rest of the organization so desperately need to reach their goals and objectives. However, decision makers often lack understanding of the sheer need of the software you are looking to implement.
In order to best achieve alignment, you must whistle to their tune. Getting executive buy-in and enabling collaboration with leadership requires you to be more strategic. How do you do this? You can begin by making yourself an expert in the work your organization does and effectively communicating the value of solutions to leadership through a solid business case. A lot of this will stem from the research you have previously done.
4. Time – don’t underestimate it!
Finally, and most importantly, don’t rush the process of selecting new software. These things take time, and for a very good reason. Selecting software in a hurry will almost always result in problems down the line, so carefully carrying out the process can avoid any major headaches in the future.
Do you have any helpful tips of your own when it comes to selecting software? Share your tips with us on Twitter using our handle @NItroHQ, or reach us on our Facebook page.